Community Health Information

Staying Connected to First UU: Updates, Links, and More

Stay Connected!

Sunday Services
Sundays at 10:00 am

Join our Worship Services on our facebook page at 10:00 am Central Time Sundays. We’ll host a “watch party” that you can join to view and comment along with others at 10. View previous services here.  

This week’s service (Sunday, March 29):
The Journey of Stillness
Worship Leaders:
Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer, Ann Hutton, Amy Nelson, Melissa Eggler, Derik Robertson, and Darin Podulke-Smith
Musicians:
Connie Schuelka, Joe Mish

Coffee Hour
Sundays at 11:15 am

A chance to interact with others from First UU for reflections on Sunday’s service!  Grab a coffee, tea, or snack and join the conversation.
By Computer: https://zoom.us/j/6648650782
By phone: +1-312-626-6799 (meeting ID 644 865 0782)   

Forum
Wednesdays at 6:30 pm
A chance to interact with others from First UU for reflection and connection.

This week’s forum (Wednesday, March 25):
Sur(thriv)ing during Pandemic Times
Join the conversation about finding hope and resilience in these days. Rev. Luke will offer some poetry and reflections, as well as an interactive practice of gratitude.

By Computer: https://zoom.us/j/6648650782
By phone: +1-312-626-6799 (meeting ID 644 865 0782)


The Latest Community Health News 

3/25/20

A Message from Rev. Luke:

Dear members and friends,

Have you paused to take a breath recently?  I hope so.   If not, why not right now.
Breathe deep the breath of life.

For some, this time has been an invitation, almost a requirement, to pause and be still.  For others, it has been a challenge to navigate rapidly changing demands for work, family, and daily life.  Each of us has had to find ways to imagine a new way of being in these days, and through it all, I hope you have been finding time to breathe.

Here are a few updates about how life is changing at First UU Church:

– Find out the latest updates, links, and more:
You can find the latest information each week, including links for Sunday Worship Services and Wednesday forums in the e-news, or on our website.

Staff will be working remotely:
After today, all staff will be working remotely.  The building will be closed (though checked occasionally for safety, mail, and plant watering!), to encourage our staff to stay home to promote the health and well-being of all.  
What that means for you:
Contact: The best way to contact any staff is via email, and we will be checking phone messages from the church remotely (For staff contacts, click HERE)

Worship: Worship services will be recorded remotely from various places, and still posted as one full video on Sundays at 10:00am – join us!

Meetings: If you have a request to utilize our online meeting options, please contact Melissa Eggler.

Support: Please contact the staff for any support or assistance needed (material, financial, spiritual) – we’re here for you and can connect you with others in the church who are glad to help serve in a variety of ways!

While the building is closed, our church – its people, its mission, its connection – is alive and well, even as things are changing and adapting.  We are grateful to all those who have offered support to the well-being of the church during this time, with creativity and flexibility and grace.  For now, here are words from Mary Oliver to guide our days together:

Today
by Mary Oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.  

Be well, breathe deep, know you are held in love, 
and know your church is here for you.

Rev. Luke

3/17/20

This has been quite a week!  We gathered last Wednesday for dinner and a forum, and by Friday the building was closed.  Sunday we set aside time for sabbath, and we are working in creative, challenging, and beautiful ways to create community and keep our church “open” in every way possible.  
Here are some ways to stay connected to First UU Church during this time:

1 – Online Worship Service
Visit our facebook page at 10:00am this Sunday to view our worship service together (this service will be recorded a little early, then posted right at 10:00 – press “play” to watch and comment throughout the service with others.  We are working on possible live-streaming for future services).  

2 – Online Gathering through Zoom online or by phone.
Simply click the meeting links below at the specified time to join an online community of fellow UUs – by computer (video and audio) or over the phone!  
The link and meeting ID is the same for each time, so you can reuse the link.

Contact the office for assistance! 

Upcoming meetings: 
Forum – Soulful Connection – Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 pm
A chance to interact with others from First UU for reflection and check-in about how we are creating community in the midst of social distancing.
By Computer: https://zoom.us/j/6648650782
By phone: +1-312-626-6799 (meeting ID 644 865 0782)

Coffee Hour – Sunday, March 22 at 11:15
A chance to interact with others from First UU for reflections on Sunday’s service!  Grab a coffee, tea, or snack and join the conversation.By Computer: https://zoom.us/j/6648650782
By phone: +1-312-626-6799 (meeting ID 644 865 0782) 

3 – Ask for or offer care to fellow UUs
If you would like to receive or offer care during this time, contact Melissa Eggler through email (congregationlife@uurochmn.org) or call the church office for:
– Receiving or delivering groceries, food, or other household needs.
– Receiving or offering phone-call check-ins and conversation.
– Receiving or offering cards of care.
– Emergency financial assistance 
– Any other spiritual or material support

4 – Create pictures and art!
We invite you to send us a picture of you or your family to join the seats in our Sanctuary!  Send it to office@uurochmn.org.  And we invite children (and adults) to create art – chalices, rainbows, flowers, to decorate our Sanctuary that you can see on our service videos!  Mail them in, or drop them outside the front door at church in the “art box” starting Wednesday!

5 – Submit Your Pledge
As you may know, we are still in the midst of our pledge campaign.  This church is striving to maintain connection and community in the midst of this time, and it is vital to have sustained support to continue to fulfill our mission well into the future.  Please submit your pledge by mail, or online by clicking HERE.  Thank you for your generosity!

6 – Breathe. Dream. Laugh. Sing. Create. Love.
Continue to remember that there can be sacred, sabbath-like moments through this.  We hope you are finding your breath, lighting chalices, reaching out by phone or text or email to loved ones.  You can reach out to the church, too, for any support.  Please call Rev. Luke or any other leaders if you need emotional, spiritual, or material support.  Here’s another poem to guide you:

And the People Stayed Home
 by Kitty O’Meara

“And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised,
and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being,
and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous,
mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses,
and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.”
Be well, breathe deep, stay connected!

In faith,
Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer


3/13/2020

Church leaders of First Unitarian Universalist Church met and have decided to close our building to all in-person gatherings until further notice. This includes all programming – for children, youth, and adults – such as Walden Hill Wednesday, Sunday worship, and all classes, committees, groups, & events held in the church building.

This has been a difficult decision, but we are taking guidance and recommendations from our national UU Association and other faith communities in the area.

Knowing this community is a central part of so many people’s lives, we are working hard to plan for what this means in our church. We are considering many options to encourage and equip groups to meet online and to find ways to broadcast our services. We invite everyone to join us in a practice of social distancing and soulful connection – finding ways to stay connected to each other in new and different ways.

At the same time, we also think this is a time that calls us to breathe, taking care and intention without rushing forward.

This is a rapidly changing and impactful time. We encourage you each to find ways to care for yourself, and for others. Part of our mission is to create a compassionate community – suspending in-person gatherings is a way to care for each other and to imagine how we can stay connected with each other.

Please be in touch with the church office if we can be of assistance or support. Know that your staff and leaders are working hard to continue to live our mission during this time – that while our building is closed, our mission and vision is alive and well, in this time when we need each other’s care as much as ever. So, spend time with those you love, find ways to nurture your spirit, take a break from the news, and remember this church is still your spiritual home.



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